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The start of the new school year means lots of new beginnings and changes.  Many of you are now living in close quarters with new people from all over the world.  With your new living environment comes an exposure to a different climate, allergens, and viruses that you may not have been accustomed to in your home town.

 A few words of wisdom regarding staying healthy while you LIVE with the PACK:

  1. Never share drinks or eating utensils with anyone
  2. Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the restroom or anytime they are soiled
  3. Use antibacterial hand sanitizer
  4. Frequently clean keyboards/phones/door knobs and other surfaces that you share with others
  5. Exercise
  6. Get plenty of rest
  7. Eat a well-balanced diet
  8. Drink plenty of water (Louisiana heat can easily dehydrate you)
  9. Limit sugary and caffeinated beverages
  10. Don’t skip meals
  11. Wear flip flops in the shower

If you start to feel ill, try simple over-the-counter remedies first.  You can always stop by in Student Health Services for guidance and advice on your illness.  We are open Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:45pm.  We offer same day appointments for illness or nurse consultations and you can contact us at 504-865-3326.  It is best to call us as early in the day as possible to schedule a same-day appointment. We are located in the basement of the Danna Center just below the Orleans Room.  If you are ill after hours, please visit us at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/health for urgent care options and Ochsner On Call. 

 

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Being a student can be stressful!  You’ve got things to do, people to see, and great places to go in New Orleans on top of the schoolwork that you are focusing on to set the foundation for your future.  Sometimes it can help to talk to someone on campus about the many responsibilities you are balancing or to make sense of a difficult situation or emotion.  If you are in need of an unbiased ear, meeting with a counselor might be right for you.  Anyone can benefit from having a place to talk and focus on himself or herself.

Reasons to Talk

You might want to talk to a counselor because:

  • You want to be more assertive
  • You’re lonely or not sure where you fit in
  • You’re having trouble sleeping
  • You feel sad or anxious
  • You want to talk about something that happened, recently or in the past

These are just the beginning.  There really isn’t anything that you can’t talk about with a counselor.

So, who are Loyola’s counselors?

At Loyola’s University Counseling Center, you’ll find a psychologist, licensed professional counselors, a social worker, a psychiatrist and a social work intern.  For more about our staff, visit our webpage and take a look around.

What We Do

A counselor’s main focus in working with students is to help them figure out what they want to do and how to go about doing it.  Overall, the goal is to get to know you and what you are hoping to accomplish by meeting.  There is no limit to the number of sessions that you can attend at Loyola’s University Counseling Center and you will be encouraged to build a toolbox of skills that you can use in many areas of your life.  In short, we will help you to be your best self.

At An Appointment

When you first come in, you’ll fill out some paperwork have a 50-minute meeting with your counselor.  The counselor will ask questions about who you are and what made you decide to visit the counseling center.  You’ll talk about your family history, medical history, and other general experiences.  We’ll help to put you at ease and gain insight into your concerns.

After this initial “intake” appointment, you’ll likely set up a return appointment with your counselor that will last between 45- to 50-minutes.  In them, you’ll continue to talk about what’s bothering you and to work together to resolve your issues.

Your counselors on campus are great resources, no matter your reason for coming in for a visit.  There is no issue to big or too small.  Reaching out to talk is something that students do every day.  If you need support, it’s only a few steps across campus in the Danna Center, Room 208.

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Life at Loyola can be fun and exciting while at the same time stressful and demanding.  A visit to the University Counseling Center (UCC) could be your answer to staying balanced as you navigate the responsibilities of being a student either as a first-year or a seasoned Wolf Pack returner.  Your on-campus UCC provides mental healthcare for all currently enrolled Loyola students including residential, commuter, full-time and part-time.  Our staff in the UCC provide a range of experience and expertise and are made up of a licensed psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed professional counselor and a license-eligible professional counselor.  The UCC also has a part-time contracted psychiatrist on staff.  You can check out our individual biographies on our main page at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/bios/dept/counseling.

We are located on the second floor of the Danna Student Center, directly above the Orleans Room (OR).  Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:45pm.  We provide individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, ADHD testing, and medication management appointments.  Counseling services are provided for concerns such as anxiety, relationship difficulties, adjustment issues, ADHD, and depression, just to name a few.  UCC staff can also make referrals to local specialists and psychiatrists in the area, if needed.

If you would like to make an appointment, simply call (504)-865-3835 or visit the UCC in the Danna Center.  It is best to call or stop by to schedule your appointment as soon as you need assistance.  If you need assistance after-hours or on weekends for a mental health emergency, please call LUPD at 504.865.3434 and ask to speak with the counselor-on-call.  A UCC staff member is on-call 24/7/365.

There is no cost beyond your tuition for an appointment at the UCC.  However, there are fees for prescriptions.  If you receive a prescription from the UCC consulting psychiatrist, you will need to have that medication filled at a local pharmacy.  We can provide you with a list of nearby pharmacies.

Strict confidentiality laws are firmly respected in the UCC.  All medical records are kept strictly confidential and are not a part of the student’s academic record.  Medical records are only released with the signed consent of the student.  For more information on the UCC, please visit our website at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling.

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Cheers to the…

Cheers to the Camp Counselors. Cheers to the Summer Interns, the Study Abroaders, the Students taking summer classes.  Cheers to Researchers and Summer Jobbers.  Cheers to the Krewe Leaders prepping for another amazing Orientation!

Summer is no time to slow down, kick back and wait.  Summer is a time to recharge, refill and renew through new experiences and challenges.  The Magis tells us to work towards excellence and that does not end after Finals.  Broadening your knowledge while earning course credit or a paycheck can add so much to your college experience.  It can prepare you for your first job out of college or give you needed perspective when you return in the fall.

Summer also allows you to apply what you’ve learned over the course of the school year to these new experiences.  Look to see how your class on child development applies to the children you are working with at camp.  Delve into the marketing that your company does to see how it touches those that use their product or service.  Reflect on how a year’s worth of studying music has changed how you listen, appreciate and play music.  Learning is cemented through application and Summer allows you an undirected chance at this opportunity!

Lastly, cheers to the soon to be graduates!  Your har
d work and dedication of wisely using your summers is about to pay off!  Making those tough choices to expand your knowledge and experience will continue to pay dividends.  So cheers to continuing the journey you’ve been on this year through a productive, enlightening and fun summer!

-Logan Williamson, LPC
University Counseling Center

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Spring break is almost here!  For some, it can be an opportunity to take a breather from academic demands and a time to unwind and have fun.  Others might use the time off to study or work on papers in preparation for finals.  However you choose to spend your time off, let me encourage you to take some time to engage in activities that will help to refuel and reenergize your body.  Here are just a few ideas for the upcoming week:

  • Participate in outdoor activities such as biking, swimming or running  (Don’t forget sunscreen!)
  • Reflect on your accomplishments this semester.  You’re almost at the end!  
  • Take time to relax and enjoy yourself by engaging in a self-care activities.
  • Give back to the community by contributing your time to local charitable organizations.
  • Set aside time for studying as well fun.  Life is about balance.
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I am often asked a version of this question: What can be done to end sexual violence?

Of course, the simplest answer is for each person (yes, that includes each person reading this) to behave in ways that are not sexually violent, that is, to seek consent within all intimate interactions. This may require learning what consent is, how it works, and the role of alcohol in obscuring consent. It may require an open, honest conversation with your partner or reflection on why and how you choose to engage in intimate behaviors.

There’s a larger question here as well, a question of culture and environment. What do we do (or omit doing) that creates a culture that actively promotes or passively allows sexual violence to happen? Answers to this question (there’s lots!) can serve as a springboard for action. Do we blame victims (“Why was she wearing that, and so late at night?”)? Do we believe that alcohol eliminates responsibility (“But they were both drinking.”)?  Do we fail to question perpetration (Not asking “Why did s/he assume the other wanted this?”)?

Teal is the color of sexual assault awareness. Increasing our self-awareness as well as awareness within our communities can bring healing. Below are action steps toward standing for an environment of sexual non-violence. Whether you pick one of these or come up with your own, commit to finding one way to bring “teal” into your life!

  1. Wear a “Teal Heals” button one day this week.
  2. Explain what your Teal Heals button means to a friend.
  3. Challenge the “Hook Up Culture.”
  4. Understand that alcohol impairs one’s ability to legally give consent.
  5. Challenge victim blaming language when I hear it.
  6. Avoid using “rape” as a slang or humorous term.
  7. Educate myself about power based personal violence.
  8. Talk to one male friend about the importance of involving men in prevention.
  9. Talk to one female friend about the importance of involving women in prevention.
  10. Attend Take Back the Night planning meetings (begin in September 2013).
  11. Participate in Take Back the Night in fall 2013.
  12. Integrate information about power-based personal violence into one class discussion.
  13. Volunteer at a local shelter serving victims of domestic violence.
  14. Write a letter to the editor of the Maroon with your reflections on the importance of addressing interpersonal violence.
  15. Discuss with friends a media portrayal glamorizing sexual violence and why this is disturbing to you.
  16. Read about the Advocacy Initiative on the UCC’s webpage.
  17. Commit to attending an Advocacy Initiative training.
  18. Speak to a student organization leader about ways your group can promote non-violence.   Organizational involvement can be part of reducing a culture of sexual violence.
  19. Write a blog about your interest in having a less sexually violence community and submit to the UCC for posting.
  20. Tell someone you know that too many students will be victims of violence and you want to reduce it.
  21. Put “ending gender based violence” on your Facebook page “what’s on your mind” window.
  22. Focus one course paper or project on advocating an end to sexual violence.
  23. Understand that “No” means “No.”
  24. Share statistics with my friends about sexual violence.
  25. Seek professional help if I suspect that my friend has been drugged (e.g., LUPD/TEMS, a hospital).
  26. Ask someone who appears upset if they would like to talk.
  27. Remember that survivors deserve to be trusted, not doubted.
  28. Talk to my friends about what defines consent.
  29. Account for the people I came with to a party before I leave or change locations.
  30. Encourage a friend to call the University Counseling Center (504) 865-3835(504) 865-3835 if I suspect a friend may have been sexually assaulted.
  31. Remember that every woman is someone’s daughter.
  32. Act from the belief that every person has inherent worth and dignity.
  33. Understand that being “masculine” does not mean being violent toward my intimate partner.
  34. Validate my friends by trusting their experience.
  35. Understand that wholeness includes mind, body and spirit and that sexual violence threatens each of these.
You’ll need Skype CreditFree via Skype
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During the week of March 24 – 30, 2014, the Loyola campus community will host our first annual Compassionate Campus initiative.   This program, spearheaded by Loyola’s HEAL (Health Education at Loyola) committee, was inspired by the work of Karen Armstrong and her TED talk on increasing interfaith dialogue through an emphasis on compassion.  Her message touts that living as a compassionate university and acting out compassion happens in small moments, transformative moments and ongoing action.  Thus, the Loyola campus community will be mindful and active in doing and noticing acts of compassion during our Compassionate Campus week.

Beginning on March 24, a large campus map of Loyola will be displayed in the first floor of the Danna Student Center for Loyola students, faculty and staff to place a “pin” on the location where an act of compassion was observed.  A white board will be available to list the acts of compassion.  In addition, Karen Armstrong’s TED talk will be playing in the one loyola room and a poster will be available for individuals to write personal statements of compassion.

The Compassionate Campus initiative has touched people in communities and institutions around the globe.  We are excited to illustrate our Jesuit vision of living by the principle of compassion through this campus event.

-Logan Williamson
Health and Education at Loyola (HEAL) Committee

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As an amateur musician, I have come to understand that there are many ways to play the same notes.  We can read and talk about playing music or performing, but it takes multiple attempts and failures to get it right.  I have found this to generalize to life as well.  Often I talk to people who are worried about failing at their jobs or schoolwork or relationships and they spend more time thinking and analyzing than doing.  It is the doing and tolerating the doing that is worthwhile.  It may sound simple to say, but doing can be difficult.  You have to face your novice status headlong with the perception of yourself of being capable of the task.

As an example, I play guitar and love this one song.  I can play it a variety of different ways and it can evoke a wide range of emotions.  Recently, I learned a different method to play the same song.

It involved changing the tuning of my guitar and playing all new chords.  Same song, same words, but I suddenly felt like I had never played this song before – despite having played it for literally hours in the past.  I had to come to grips (again) that I still have a lot to learn, even when playing a song that I have loved for years.

This can be the same with life’s transitions as well.  Despite spending almost every waking moment in school, doing homework, and learning from their parents, students still have difficulty adjusting to college.  Parents who have raised their children up from a single cell organism are still baffled sometimes at how to respond to their argumentative teenager.  Instead of seeing the moment, analyzing the moment and judging the moment, taking a look at the process and see it as a change in tuning or chord structure.  Pay attention to those shifts so that you can give yourself grace when you return to novice status.  Become practiced and adept at the shifts instead of inflexibly expecting virtuoso sound the first time around.

-Logan K. Williamson, LPC

 

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Meet the Counseling Staff:

You may or may not have already taken the Strengths Quest module, but all of us at the UCC have and we’d like to share our thoughts on our “favorite” strengths.

Alicia Bourque, PhD – Director of University Counseling & Health Services: “My #1 strength is Relator!  I find nothing more gratifying, both personally and professionally, than forming and nurturing close bonds with family, friends, and co-workers.  It makes my day to share a meaningful moment with someone that I care about and cherish having in my life.”

Alison Cofrancesco, M.Ed., NCC – Staff Counselor: “Connectedness refers to the tendency to view the world from a larger, interrelated perspective.  I believe that personal growth is an endless process in which we learn about ourselves through interactions with others.  This strength points to a sense of universality in that our choices and actions are intertwined; affecting ourselves as well as others. “

Diana Novek – Office Manager UCC & Career Development: “Developer is my favored strength for sure! I am my best self when I am encouraging and supporting others to pursue their goals and aspirations. In the words of Phil Dunphy from Modern Family, “I’m a cheerleader! I’m the guy on top of the pyramid shouting ‘Go dreams, go!’”

Brooks Zitzmann, LCSW – Staff Counselor: “I love having the combination of Intellection and Achiever as my #1 and #3 strengths. For me, it resonates with the Jesuit notion of being a “contemplative in action.” While my mind is continuously moving and reflecting, I feel myself pulled to operationalize those thoughts into something beneficial for others. As a counselor, this combination allows me to understand my clients and the complexity of their lived experience while fostering movement and change to enhance their wellbeing.

Logan Williamson, LPC – Staff Counselor: “My favorite Strength is a tie.  Being positive is a strength that is recognized most often by my peers and is something that influences how I see the world so much.  On the other hand, there isn’t anything quite like when I connect several seemingly different ideas in my head (ideation) into one unique concept.  It feels like hitting a homerun.”

Visit our website and learn more about us and the services that we offer to the Loyola Wolf Pack!

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